Asian Confed signs $200 million sponsorship deal

The Asian Football Association (AFC) has signed an agreement worth over 200 million US dollars, securing the financial future of Asian football until 2012. The deal between the game's governing body in Asia and World Sport Group, reportedly the largest rights fee paid to a sports governing body in Asia, cements WSG's partnership with the AFC which dates back to 1992.

"This agreement follows months of negotiations by both parties and I am delighted that we have now gained the commercial security to continue our rapid development and progress at all levels of the games. Our partnership with WSG is of immense importance to AFC. Their belief in Asian football, and their loyalty to AFC, creates a winning partnership, and I look forward to many more productive years," said AFC President Mohamed Bin Hammam as quoted by Xinhuanet.

"Our commitment gives the AFC the strongest base possible from which to invest in football at all levels across the continent. They now have a firm footing to oversee the future development of the sport to improve facilities and to nurture the talent of tomorrow, from the elite national and club team competitions to grassroots projects," said Seamus O' Brien, President of World Sport Group.

The current roster of blue-chip companies which sponsor AFC include Asahi Shimbun, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Epson, FamilyMart, Hyundai, Makita, JCB, Kirin, Konica Minolta, Maxell, Nike, Nikon, Samsung, Toshiba, Toyota and Yamaha.